A new profile of Tim Cook shows a no nonsense leader of a kindler, gentler company than it was when led by Steve Jobs. However, Cook can still strike fear into his followers when it’s needed.
A closer look at Cook was given in a new feature published by Reuters on Thursday, detailing how Apple has changed in the last two years under his watch. Cook took over in August of 2011 when Jobs was forced to resign because of declining health. The company co-founder died only a few months later.
Cook has a much calmer demeanor than his predecessor, and Apple itself has come to reflect that. Apple has become more transparent about some of its dealings, and the company has even instituted a charitable matching program for employees who donate up to $10,000.
While Cook is known as a “nice guy,” he can be intimidating. He will slowly rock in his chair while in a meeting. If the rhythm of his rocking changes, employees know to watch out, something is coming. Cook can cause an employee to search for a hole to crawl into with just one sentence.
There have been a greater number of employee departures under Cook’s reign. Silicon Valley recruiters say they’ve heard from Apple employees, particularly from hardware engineers, in greater number than ever before.
Other employees report, however, that Apple is a better place to work under Cook. Noting it’s “less crazy” and “draconian” than it was while Jobs was CEO.
Cook is under constant pressure form the board and stockholders as Apple’s stock has dropped this year. Concerns that Apple hasn’t launched any blockbuster products or updates to current products have contributed to the pressure. Time will tell if the expected September announcement of the new flagship iPhone, and most likely it’s lower priced companion handset, will silence the rumblings from analysts and shareholders.
Cook got a huge vote of confidence earlier this month when activist investor Carl Icahn revealed via Twitter that he had amassed a large position in Apple stock.